Military History

Blogging about the Battlefield since 2005

Book Review of Shadow Flights: America’s Secret Air War against the Soviet Union

Posted by William Young on March 22, 2013

Fascinating study of early Cold War spy flights.

International History

Curtis Peebles. Shadow Flights: America’s Secret Air War against the Soviet Union. Novato, California: Presidio Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-891-41700-2. Illustrations. Bibliography. Index. Pp. vi, 322.

PeeblesSlowly but surely information has been coming forward about United States and American-sponsored reconnaissance missions against the Soviet Union and China during the early years of the Cold War.  In this study, Curtis Peebles, a freelance aerospace historian, examines the American reconnaissance effort from the late 1940s to Operation Grand Slam in 1960.  The author is well-known for his studies including The Moby Dick Project: Reconnaissance Balloons over Russia (1991), The Corona Project: America’s First Spy Satellites (1997), and Twilight Warriors: Covert Air Operations against the USSR (2005).

RB-45C aircraft at RAF Sculthorpe, England (1952)Peebles depicts the rise of Cold War reconnaissance from the first U.S. Far East Air Forces RF-80 covert overflight of the Soviet Far East during the Berlin Crisis (1948-1949) to the Soviet shootdown of a Central Intelligence Agency U-2 mission in…

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